How To Fight A Speeding Ticket
Updated 6/28/20 – Published by: Ticket Cutter
A traffic ticket means that you have been charged for violating a traffic law. Although paying the ticket is simple, it is likely to increase insurance prices. Nowadays, you get a speeding ticket in the mail. Real speeding fines are still issued, but they are increasingly being replaced by tickets generated by a camera. These speed trap cameras are frequently placed near schools, and despite some inventive legal challenges, they continue to scare drivers with paper tickets in the mail. Many people have had the unfortunate experience of getting pulled over on suspicion of speeding. Receiving your first ticket can be a life-changing event, as well as financial hardship. Getting a speeding ticket does not mean you are guilty, regardless of whether the ticket was handed to you or was issued directly by a cop. But did you know you can also go to court and fight it or try to settle it? There are strategies to fight a speeding ticket and increase your chances of getting it dropped or reduced.
How To Fight A Radar Speeding Ticket
Many speeding tickets include the use of radar measurement devices, so it’s worth taking a quick look at how radar works. “Radio Detection and Ranging” is an acronym for “Radio Detection and Ranging.” Radar determines the speed of a moving object by using radio waves reflected off it. Common arguments against radar speeding citations may appear solid, but they do not hold water in traffic court.
The calibration data for the gadget that assessed your speed is the most accessible approach to contest radar gun evidence in court. If the device was not calibrated within the required timeframe or was not calibrated correctly, you might ask the judge to invalidate your speeding charge. Some police may mistakenly believe they can calibrate the radar gun without tuning, so always question if they used it during calibration. If they did not, you will have another chance to argue that they are founded on erroneous evidence and should be dismissed.
How to Fight a Speeding Ticket and Win
For most states, the calibrator will not be required to show up in court, but the evidence is. To be considered credible, the police must either submit a form to the court at least 30 days before the hearing attesting to the accuracy or have the person who performed the violation attend the hearing, according to Washington law. When you decide to fight a traffic ticket, you must design a traffic court strategy with a high chance of success. Every case is unique. As a result, the method that will give you the best chance of beating your ticket will be determined by the traffic legislation you’ve been accused of breaching and the specific circumstances of your case.
A strategy entails a distinct type of paperwork requirement. A defendant may seek discovery (a legal term for a copy of all evidence that the prosecution wants to use). In Washington, for example, the prosecution must file the request at least 14 days before the trial. If the prosecution fails to turn over this evidence seven days before trial, they will be unable to use it. It gives the prosecutor only a week to react, presuming you make the discovery request at the last minute. Otherwise, she would have to prove a case with no evidence at all.
Finally, to ensure that the ticket identifies the actual driver, a ticket must frequently include an extensive list of facts on the driver and vehicle to be sustained in court, such as:
- The name, address, and phone number of the court that will hear the case;
- The defendant’s name, residence, date of birth, sex, physical attributes, and driver’s license number;
- The make, year, model, style, license number, and state of registration of the car;
- The defendant committed the alleged infraction, along with a statutory citation or ordinance number, the date, time, and place of the incident, the date the notice of infraction was issued, and the citing officer’s information.
It’s possible that your state has additional restrictions pertaining to ticket filing that can be used to get the ticket dismissed. To avoid a ticket being issued, police officers in Washington must submit the ticket within five days. There are no extensions or exceptions allowed, albeit the defendant or his attorney must be aware of the problem to bring it to the officer’s attention.
What Works in Court and What Doesn’t
No matter what infraction you were ticketed for, knowing exactly how the offense is defined by law might be critical to a successful defense in traffic court. We’ve discussed numerous winning techniques, but what about the strategies that don’t work on the court? If you are hoping that the officer will not show up, you will almost surely fail. It’s worth noting that the cops are not obligated to appear until they are subpoenaed (a formal request made through the court), and if they are, they’re probably not thrilled about it and don’t want to give a defendant a break by not turning up. In addition, most police departments will pay the officer overtime if they fail to appear in court.
Other frequent defense strategies that have failed include stating that the police exaggerated your speed, which implies that you have taken responsibility for the crime. Excuses such as “my wife was having a baby,” “I am a doctor, and the patient was dying,” or “I have an emergency” are unlikely to succeed in court to get you out of the ticket totally. However, if no alternative defenses are available and you are almost certain to be found guilty, you have the option of requesting mitigation (telling the judge your excuse and asking for a reduction in the penalty). By doing so, you are admitting guilt. If you have acquired enough traffic tickets in a short period of time, you will still face most of the same consequences, such as possibly higher insurance rates, paying a fine, and possibly losing your license.
Similarly, several states may offer you a break on your first speeding offense if you aren’t a persistent offender. It could imply that the court reduces the fine or removes the penalty from your record in exchange for completing a traffic safety course. In Washington, for example, drivers can ask the court to delay findings on a moving infraction once every seven years when challenging or requesting mitigation. If you stay clean and don’t get another citation within a year, your record will be wiped clean, and your insurance company will be none the wiser.
How To Fight A Camera Speeding Ticket
Camera speeding tickets are the worst. You have received an email to find that a camera has caught you speeding or running a red light. After the camera snapped a photo of your automobile and your license plate, the police have demanded that you hand over hundreds of dollars. It’s typical for drivers to wonder how to fight a camera ticket. A camera typically records red light violations, and a ticket with a letter mentioning the find and the date of payment is issued to the offender.
When contesting a camera ticket, the first question is whether the ticket was issued for a proper reason—this defense is admittedly a long shot. Nonetheless, there are a variety of legal defenses that can be used in court to show that you are not guilty of the traffic charge. It is worth mentioning that state law may limit automated traffic enforcement citations to certain areas, such as red lights, railroad crossings, or speeding in school zones. Aside from the fact that it is the only option to prove your innocence, there are numerous reasons to appeal the citation.
- It’s possible that there was a camera malfunction.
- It’s possible that someone else was driving your car at the time.
- It’s likely that there were more cars in the shot, and the camera detected the incorrect one.
- You did not receive the ticket on time.
- Because the speed signs in the area were blocked, you couldn’t tell what the speed limit was.
- You don’t think the authorities followed the correct procedure when they cited you.
Payment of the fee or admission of guilt and explanation of acts are both confessions of guilt. You must contest an unjust citation, and if you opt to pay the fine, you give up without even attempting to defend yourself. Taking any action other then requesting a hearing waives your right to contest the violation in the future and relieves the issuing jurisdiction of the burden of proving the case against you.
Cameras & Enforcement Zones一Speeding Ticket Nuances
In addition, signage indicating the location of the camera speeding ticket enforcement zone is required to be prominently displayed at the location where the cameras are located. Despite the fact that this appears to be an easy requirement, a few people have actually taken local governments to court over their signs, saying that they were too wordy to comply with state and federal law. They were successful.
While obtaining a defense based on federal and state traffic standards is uncommon, vandalism of street signs or obstructions caused by trees and construction is not. Vandalism of street signs or obstructions caused by trees and construction is not uncommon in the United States. Overall, you should drive through the region again (this time more carefully) to ensure that all of the signs are still in place and functional.
What To Do When a Speeding Ticket Arrives at Your Mailbox?
Getting a speeding ticket and having it delivered to your mailbox is not a pleasant experience. So, examine it closely:
- Is it your car in the photo?
- Are the photos of your car clear?
- When was the date of the alleged speeding?
According to various jurisdictions, the vehicle’s ticker must be emailed to the vehicle’s registered owner within a specified time period. And according to Washington state law, the ticket must be mailed within 14 days of committing the infraction. Unless the 14th day falls on a weekend or a holiday, the police department will be closed until the next working day.
Legal Differences Across Other States一Example
If you fail to respond to a ticket for a moving infraction in any state other than Alaska, California, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, or Wisconsin, your driver’s license will be suspended in New York. Your license will be suspended until you respond to the ticket.
For failing to respond to a moving violation in New York State, drivers from any state other than the six listed above will have their licenses suspended in their home state. In all but the most severe traffic offenses committed in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, the New York State DMV does not keep track of out-of-state convictions of non-commercial licensed drivers for moving traffic offenses done outside of the state of New York.
“What if it wasn’t you behind the wheel but someone else?”
If your car was rented to someone else or stolen at the time of the offense, you could prove that you were not driving and will most likely cancel the speeding ticket if you file a sworn declaration under oath or testify in person that you were not driving.
A peculiar quirk in Washington state law ensures that will accept the “it wasn’t me” allegation. State law specifies that the camera may only capture the automobile and license plate, not the driver. After a registered owner asserts they were not driving, the state has no way of proving the driver’s identity unless they can find a real-life witness who can identify the person who drove the vehicle. Most speeding tickets allow you to make a sworn declaration on the back of the ticket stating that you are not the driver; nevertheless, many jurisdictions include wording requiring you to inform the actual motorist in the event of a conviction.
However, despite the foreboding warnings and terrible threats, you are not required to identify the real driver who was operating your vehicle at the time by law in most areas一you can simply leave those fields blank and ignore it.
How to Fight A School Zone Speeding Ticket
Receiving a speeding ticket in a school zone is a harrowing experience, especially if you consider that your behavior was entirely your responsibility. A person’s only choice in such circumstances is to contest the speeding ticket. If you believe you have received an unfair school zone speeding ticket, you must take every step feasible to challenge it and have any penalty reduced as much as possible. If you don’t do this, you’ll face severe penalties, including points on your driver’s license and an increase in your insurance prices.
Whether or not there are cameras in the school zone, signage is essential in avoiding speeding charges. If you can demonstrate that you were not aware of the school zone, you may be able to contest the ticket successfully. It is also essential to consider the timing or presence of youngsters concerning the signage needed. When the law is in place, many signs will include flashing lights that will blink once every few seconds – if the bulbs fail, the ticket may be dismissed.
So you were unfortunate enough to receive a speeding ticket in a school zone. In this scenario, you should follow the steps below.
- It would be best if you made a note of the location where you picked up the ticket.
- Make a mental note of the pace you believe you were traveling at.
- If you received the ticket while school was in session, you should contact the school at the site to confirm that the school was in session. If you were ticketed for speeding in a school zone outside of school hours, you might have a better chance of winning your case.
- Take note of any school zone markers you may see. Were they clearly labeled enough? It looked like there was some sort of obstruction in the way of the sign’s visibility. Your ticket may be dismissed entirely in either of these circumstances.
- Last but not least, you might retain the services of an attorney that specializes in traffic ticket dismissal cases.
We Have an Even Easier Way to Contest a Ticket
Our traffic ticket dismissal service has assisted thousands of drivers in successfully fighting their traffic citations through the trial by written declaration process. You may easily contest your speeding ticket with Ticket Cutter by just hitting a few keys on your computer. If you require legal representation, give us a call (425) 264-2000 or upload your traffic ticket on our contact form. We’ll get to know your situation and get started on your case immediately. We will go over your options with you and aid you in selecting whether or not to file an appeal against your speeding citation. Contact us for a free consultation.